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Ford Plans $685M Investment in Canada

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Owing to the rising demand for fuel efficient vehicles, Ford Motor Co. (F) announced that it is planning to invest C$700 million ($685 million) to modify the Oakville Assembly plant, located at Ontario, Canada, according to media reports. The plant will focus on production of Ford’s Edge SUV, which is witnessing high demand as it provides 30 miles per gallon on highway.

Other than Edge SUV, the plant also produces Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT vehicles. The automaker has sold 130,000 vehicles to date this year.

Ford expects higher demand for its vehicles going forward and this modification of the plant will support the automaker in adjusting the production of various cars according to the needs of consumer. The plant will continue with its workforce of 2,800 employees and the upgrade is expected to be completed by the second half of 2014. The company will export vehicles outside North America from the Oakville plant.

Ford’s EcoBoost engine is witnessing rising demand as it caught the fancy of consumers. As a result, the company recently announced crossing the milestone of manufacturing 2 million of these fuel-saving engines. The automaker presently produces over 100,000 engines per month on an average, a 54% surge from 65,000 units produced in 2012.

Ford EcoBoost promises fuel efficiency, which perhaps is what most consumers look for. EcoBoost technology offers turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing. Ford EcoBoost engines, which are comparatively smaller in size, offer 20% more fuel efficiency compared to the larger-displacement gasoline engines.

The EcoBoost engines are now available in 1.0-liter three-cylinder; 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder; and 3.5-liter V6 versions. Greater acceptance of EcoBoost technology will boost the demand for Ford’s EcoBoost-powered vehicles.

Ford currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other major automobile stocks worth considering are Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY), Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) and Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA). Volkswagen carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Nissan and Tesla carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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